Flavorful Pumpkin Parmesan Empanadas Recipe

My dear readers, allow me to introduce you to a savory delight that will transport your taste buds to the bustling streets of Latin America. A true staple, empanadas take on various forms across the region, and its crispy exterior and flavorful filling make it the perfect snack or meal, day or night. Today, I bring you a recipe for one of my personal favorites: Pumpkin Parmesan Empanadas.

Now, some may turn their nose up at the thought of a pumpkin-filled empanada; however, I promise you this is no ordinary pumpkin dish. The savory blend of parmesan cheese, ricotta cheese, and pumpkin puree creates a depth of flavor that will leave you craving more with every bite.

But why make empanadas at home when you can find them at any Latin American restaurant or street vendor? Well, dear readers, the answer is simple: homemade empanadas are always better. Not only do you have control over the quality and freshness of ingredients, but also over the amount of filling stuffed into each pastry pocket. And let us not forget…the satisfaction and pride that comes with making your own batch of perfectly golden brown empanadas.

So come along on this culinary journey with me as we dive into this delectable recipe for Pumpkin Parmesan Empanadas. Trust me; your taste buds will thank you.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Pumpkin Parmesan Empanadas
Pumpkin Parmesan Empanadas

Greetings, my fellow food enthusiasts! As a chef with years of experience in Brazilian and American cuisine, I can assure you that this savory pumpkin Parmesan empanadas recipe will be a hit with your taste buds. Not only are these empanadas packed with delicious flavor, but they are also easy to make and versatile enough to suit a variety of occasions.

Firstly, let’s talk about the flavor. The combination of Parmesan cheese, romano cheese, and ricotta cheese mixed together with savory pumpkin puree is simply divine. And the addition of fresh thyme leaves and brown sugar adds another layer of depth to the filling. Once these ingredients are all nestled inside the golden-brown flaky empanada crust, every bite becomes a heavenly experience for your taste buds.

But what sets this recipe apart is its versatility. It can be served as a main course or as an appetizer at any meal, from casual picnics to fancy dinner parties. The sweet-savory pumpkin filling, paired with the crunchiness of the empanada crust, makes it an excellent vegetarian option that anyone will enjoy. And if you’re not too fond of pumpkin, don’t despair–you can easily substitute it with butternut squash or any other vegetable of your choice.

Best of all, this recipe is easy to make and doesn’t require exotic ingredients that you can never find in your local grocery store. You’ll use basic kitchen staples such as flour, milk, sugar, salt, onion, and shortening which are readily available in most kitchens. With just a little patience and attention to detail, you’ll soon be making the best empanadas anyone has ever tasted.

So why wait? Try this pumpkin Parmesan empanadas recipe today and experience how easy it is to create empanadas that are both delicious and versatile enough for any occasion.

Ingredient List

 These empanadas are the perfect appetizer for fall parties!
These empanadas are the perfect appetizer for fall parties!

Here are all the ingredients you’ll need for these tasty Pumpkin Parmesan Empanadas.

For the Empanada Dough:

  • 1/2 Cup Shortening
  • 1/4 Cup Milk
  • 1/4 Cup Water
  • 1 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1 Teaspoon Sugar
  • 2 Cups All-Purpose Flour

For the Filling:

  • 1 Cup Pumpkin Puree
  • 3/4 Cup Ricotta Cheese
  • 1/4 Cup Parmesan Cheese, shredded
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1 Tablespoon Brown Sugar
  • 1 Large Egg, beaten
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Fresh Thyme Leaves, chopped

Make sure to gather all these ingredients and you’ll be ready to go.

The Recipe How-To

 Get ready to 'fall' in love with these pumpkin Parmesan empanadas.
Get ready to ‘fall’ in love with these pumpkin Parmesan empanadas.

Mixing the Dough

For the empanada dough, In a bowl, mix 2 cups of all-purpose flour and 1 teaspoon of salt. Then add 1/2 cup of shortening or lard with your hands until crumbly. Add gradually about 6 tablespoons milk, mixing with a fork, until you can form a smooth dough without cracks.

Form two dough balls and wrap them in plastic wrap or a plastic bag. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Preparing the Filling

In another bowl, stir together 1 cup of pumpkin puree, 1/2 cup of ricotta cheese, 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese, 1 tablespoon of brown sugar, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, and a pinch of salt. Add some fresh or dried thyme leaves for extra flavor.

You can also use canned pumpkin or baked pumpkin pulp, mashed butternut squash, or any other savory pumpkin filling you like.

Assembling the Empanadas

Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C). Roll out the empanada dough balls on a floured surface to about an eighth-inch thickness. Cut out circles with a diameter of about 5 inches each.

Place one tablespoon of the pumpkin filling in the center of each empanada circle. Brush the edges with water. Then fold the empanadas over into half-circles and crimp the edges shut with a fork or your fingers.

Brush each empanada top with beaten egg and sprinkle them generously with grated parmesan cheese.

Baking the Empanadas

Bake the empanadas on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper for around 30 minutes or until golden brown.

Serve hot or at room temperature, as an appetizer or main course. Vegetarian empanadas are perfect for a fall or winter dinner.

Enjoy your pumpkin parmesan empanadas!

Substitutions and Variations

 One bite and you'll be pumpkin spice-obsessed for life.
One bite and you’ll be pumpkin spice-obsessed for life.

My dear cooks, while this recipe is already quite delightful on its own, I understand that some of you may want to get creative in the kitchen. Fear not, for I have some substitutions and variations to enhance this savory pumpkin parmesan empanadas recipe.

Firstly, while pumpkin puree is the star of the show in this recipe, it can be substituted with butternut squash or even canned pumpkin if need be.

In terms of the cheeses, feel free to experiment with other types such as romano or a mix of ricotta and parmesan cheese.

Regarding the spices, you can try dried thyme leaves instead of fresh thyme leaves.

If you’re not too keen on brown sugar, regular sugar can be used in its place.

For those who prefer a slightly sweeter twist to their empanadas, try adding a bit of cinnamon to the brown sugar filling.

If you’re feeling adventurous and would like to switch up the filling entirely, corn empanadas or even vegetarian empanadas are worth exploring. The pumpkin filling could also be replaced with meat options like beef empanadas.

For the pastry dough, your best bet is to use either store-bought pie crust or pre-made empanada dough. However, should you wish to make your own dough from scratch the empanada dough recipe can be found with ease online.

No matter which variation you select my dear reader, these pumpkin parmesan empanadas will surely bring warmth and comfort to your kitchen table.

Serving and Pairing

 Nothing 'gourd' be better than these savory pumpkin pockets.
Nothing ‘gourd’ be better than these savory pumpkin pockets.

When it comes to serving the savory pumpkin empanadas, you’ll want to consider what kind of meal you’re serving. The pumpkin parmesan empanadas are a perfect appetizer for a fall gathering or even as a snack. They pair well with a variety of dishes, making them a versatile addition to your menu.

For a complete meal, serve the empanadas alongside a fresh green salad with a tangy vinaigrette dressing. The crisp and refreshing salad will perfectly balance out the rich flavors of the pumpkin filling.

If you’re looking for something heartier, consider pairing the empanadas with roasted vegetables or brown rice. The earthy flavors of butternut squash or roasted carrots will complement the creamy pumpkin filling perfectly.

And of course, no meal is complete without an adult beverage. Serve these savory pumpkin empanadas with a chilled glass of white wine or even a craft beer with hints of pumpkin spice.

No matter how you choose to serve and pair these delicious pumpkin Parmesan empanadas, they are sure to become your go-to recipe for all your fall gatherings and beyond.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 These empanadas are the pump-KING of all party foods.
These empanadas are the pump-KING of all party foods.

The pumpkin parmesan empanadas can be made ahead and stored until ready to serve. Once the empanadas have been baked, allow them to cool completely before storing. They can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days. When reheating, place the empanadas on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake in a preheated oven at 350°F for about 10 minutes or until heated through.

Alternatively, if you want to make the empanadas ahead of time but not bake them yet, they can be stored in the freezer for up to three months. Simply arrange the unbaked empanadas in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and freeze until solid. Once frozen, you can transfer them to an airtight container or freezer-safe bag for long-term storage.

To reheat frozen empanadas, remove them from the freezer and let them thaw in the refrigerator overnight. Once they are completely thawed, you can follow the same baking instructions as above.

When it comes to storing leftover pumpkin filling, it is best to store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days. The filling can be used as a sweet or savory spread on toast or as a dip for vegetables or crackers.

Overall, these pumpkin parmesan empanadas are great for make-ahead meals or impromptu gatherings. Whether served as an appetizer or main course, they are sure to impress your guests with their unique flavor and texture combination.

Tips for Perfect Results

 Welcome to the pumpkin patch-- these empanadas are the main attraction!
Welcome to the pumpkin patch– these empanadas are the main attraction!

In order to get the perfect pumpkin Parmesan empanadas, here are a few tips that will be useful during the process.

First of all, remember that patience is key. Making the dough from scratch can be a bit challenging, but with a little time and attention to detail, it’ll turn out great. Make sure to follow the recipe carefully when measuring your ingredients, as the slightest misstep can make a big difference in the final result.

Additionally, you can mix things up by adding different flavors or vegetables to your empanada filling. Butternut squash or canned pumpkin puree can be used as an alternative if you don’t have fresh pumpkin on hand. You can also add some spices like cinnamon and brown sugar to give it more flavor.

For the cheese filling, it’s important not to overcook the onion before adding it to the mixture, as this can lead to a bitter taste. And when heating the cheese mixture on the stove, use low heat and stir frequently until all ingredients are smooth.

When rolling out your dough, keep in mind that it shouldn’t be too thin or too thick. Thin dough will break easily, while thick dough results in chewy empanadas. Aim for about 1/8 inch thickness for best results.

Before baking these savory pumpkin treats in the oven, make sure to brush them with an egg wash made of one beaten egg and one tablespoon of milk. This will create that golden brown color you’re aiming for.

Finally, don’t forget to let your pumpkin Parmesan empanadas cool for a few minutes before serving. They make a great appetizer or snack that can be enjoyed any time of day!


Before we head to the final section of our recipe article, let’s first address some commonly asked questions about the pumpkin parmesan empanadas that we’ve just learned how to create. This section aims to provide helpful insights on the common problems encountered during the cooking process, as well as some tips and solutions. Let’s dive into some of these queries and see how we can further enhance your experience in replicating this delectable dish.

What are pumpkin empanadas made of?

This delectable treat incorporates flour, eggs, butter, sugar, and a hint of pumpkin pie spice to enhance its taste. Moreover, yeast is utilized to produce an exquisite soft and airy texture.

What are Mexican empanadas made of?

One delicious street food item that is popular in Mexico is the empanada. This savory pastry is made by pressing fresh corn masa into a circular shape, filling it with a variety of ingredients such as cheese, beef or chicken and then frying it until it is crispy and golden brown. The empanada is a versatile food that can be enjoyed as a snack or a meal at any time of the day. In Mexico, the most common empanada varieties are cheese and ground beef.

What is empanadas de calabaza made of?

I have a recipe for pumpkin empanadas that are stuffed with a mouthwatering pumpkin mixture and dusted with a blend of brown sugar and cinnamon. These empanadas are the ideal fall treat and taste amazing when paired with a cup of Mexican coffee.

How long does it take to bake empanadas?

Let’s get cooking! Start off by heating the oven to a crispy 400 degrees F. Next, take out your empanadas and give them a shiny coat of egg wash. To prevent any explosions while in the oven, grab a knife and make some tiny slits on the top of each empanada to let the steam out. Pop them in the oven and wait 20 to 25 minutes patiently until they are a perfectly golden brown. Once they’re done, you can either enjoy your delicious empanadas while they’re hot or wait until they cool to room temperature – either way, it’s going to be a treat!

Bottom Line

In conclusion, these pumpkin parmesan empanadas are a great addition to any meal or gathering. They are easy to make, delicious, and can be easily customized to suit your tastes. Whether you’re looking for a vegetarian option or a meat-filled empanada, this recipe can be adapted to fit your needs.

With their savory pumpkin filling and crispy crust, these empanadas are sure to become a family favorite. Serve them with your favorite dipping sauce or pair them with a side salad for a complete meal.

So why not give this recipe a try? Impress your friends and family with the best empanadas they’ve ever had! From savory pumpkin to parmesan pumpkin bites, there’s something for everyone in this dish. I hope you enjoy making these pumpkin parmesan empanadas as much as I do, and that they become a staple in your kitchen. Happy cooking!

Pumpkin Parmesan Empanadas

Pumpkin Parmesan Empanadas Recipe

This recipe was found on a bottle of Crisco Oil.
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Prep Time 45 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Course Appetizer/Snack
Cuisine Latin American
Servings 12 Empanadas
Calories 283.7 kcal



  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 9 tablespoons well chilled shortening
  • 2/3-1 cup milk


  • 1 tablespoon shortening
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 tablespoon firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves or 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
  • 2/3 cup graded parmesan cheese or 2/3 cup romano cheese


  • COMBINE: flour, sugar, and salt in food processor. Add shortening (Cover and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
  • Pulse while adding Milk (1 tablespoon at a time). Until dough holds together when pressed into a ball.
  • Shape into 3 round disks.
  • Wrap in plastic wrap. Chill 30 minutes to up to 2 days.
  • Heat shortening in large skillet over medium heat.
  • Add onion, Cook 7 minutes or until tender.
  • Stir in brown sugar, thyme and salt until evenly blended.
  • Stir in pumpkin, ricotta, and Parmesan cheese.
  • HEAT 1-inch deep vegetable oil to 350 degrees in large skillet over medium heat.
  • Divide dough into 12 equal pieces.
  • Roll each to a 6 inch circle on lightly floured surface.
  • Brush edges with water.
  • Spoon 1/4 cup pumpkin mixture onto each circle.
  • Fold dough in half to cover filling.
  • Press edges with fork to seal.
  • COOK empanadas in hot oil 4 to 5 minutes or until golden brown, turning halfway through cooking time.
  • Drain on paper towels.
  • Cool 10 minutes before serving.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 1486gCalories: 283.7kcalCarbohydrates: 31.3gProtein: 7.5gFat: 14.4gSaturated Fat: 4.9gCholesterol: 12mgSodium: 344.3mgFiber: 1.3gSugar: 3.9g
Keyword < 60 Mins, Halloween, Thanksgiving
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Dora is a chef well-versed in Brazilian and American cuisine. After a hard day's work in the kitchen of her restaurant, she finds the time to jot down recipes for her food blog. Her recipes are sure to delight foodies everywhere, as she strives to make each one unique and enjoyable to read.